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Preamp Vs. Power Amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lamborghini98, Apr 6, 2006.


  1. lamborghini98

    lamborghini98 The Aristocrats

    May 1, 2005
    NYC; Portland, OR
    Whats the difference between a preamp and a power amp?

    (I did a search and couldnt find anything... so please dont jump down my throat)
     
  2. The pre-amp is the thing that modifies the sound - makes you sound sweet. The poweramp adds gain and thereby "prepares" the signal for your cab. without you preamp you wouldn't be able to hear anything when plugging into a cab.

    I hope that helped, but still, I'm sure someone might be able to explain it better than me.
     
  3. lamborghini98

    lamborghini98 The Aristocrats

    May 1, 2005
    NYC; Portland, OR
    Could you theoretically skip the preamp and use a poweramp as a head? Do people ever do it?
     
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I am Passinwind and some of you are not. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    That depends on how hard you want to drive the power amp, and how sensitive the power amp is. You'd need a bass with a pretty powerful onboard preamp built in to drive most power amps fully, although some power amps like the Focus SA are sensitive enough to run off many active basses directly.

    BTW, the next time you do a search start with the stickied FAQs at the top of each forum. You would've found this pretty readily: http://www.talkbass.com/ampfaq/ :cool:
     
  5. cadre bassman

    cadre bassman

    May 15, 2004
    Denver, CO
    What's your thoughts on a amp head that has a tube power section and solid state preamp section? Do you get the best of both worlds?
     
  6. If going for the best of both worlds, Id go with a tube pre and solid state power amp. I have used that type of setup and sounded great. My current head is much the same, tube pre and solid state power amp.
     
  7. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    If you bass has sufficient output to adequately drive the power amp (and you can get the tone you want without any extra EQ'ing beyond what your bass provides) -- yes.
     
  8. cadre bassman

    cadre bassman

    May 15, 2004
    Denver, CO
    I'm looking at a Music Man HD-150 and my bass is a 1973 Fender Jazz.
     
  9. cadre bassman

    cadre bassman

    May 15, 2004
    Denver, CO
    I'm looking at a Music Man HD-150 and my bass is a 1973 Fender Jazz; is $400 a great buy or are there others out there that are a better value?
     
  10. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    That sort of depends... Tonally that amp is a bargain if you're into old school. Volume wise it's still a 150 wattt amp and unless you really like power tube distortion, that's going to be somewhat limiting. For me that amp is tempting but it's at best a very small venue amp for my uses. (It's still tempting though I admit and for what it is it's priced OK.)

    The bad new's is that if you really want vintage style, old school tone and big clean volume. You're going to spend more. A lot more ... In my case it's an F2B fronting a GK 1001.
     

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